Greenways and Outdoor Recreation

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Greenways and Outdoor Recreation

The Regional Commission assists with and supports several outdoor recreation projects for all of our localities. We also work with the Greenway Commission to provide support for planning and designing greenways and greenway connections. The regional greenway connection is an important element of bicycle and pedestrian accomodation in the Roanoke Valley. You can find more information about Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning here.

Roanoke Valley Greenways

RVARC provides a variety of services to the Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission, including collaborating on projects such as the Tinker Creek Greenway Corridor Study (ongoing), the 2017 Greenway Plan Update (ongoing), and maintaining the Greenway Commission website.

Regional Greenway and Trail User Count Program

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The Regional Greenway and Trail User Count Program, established in 2010, is an ongoing effort to collect longitudinal greenway and trail use data as the regional greenway network is expanded, connected, and promoted. The Regional Greenway and Trail User Count Program was developed and is managed by the Regional Commission with support from the cities of Roanoke and Salem, Roanoke County, the
Town of Vinton, Roanoke Valley Greenways, and Pathfinders for Greenways. The Regional Greenway and Trail User Count Program utilizes the TRAFx  counting system consisting of state-of-the-art hardware and software to collect, view and manage data. Data from the program is available to local governments and other stakeholders and has been utilized for a range of purposes including:

  • capital improvements program (CIP) funding requests for greenway construction
  • maintenance funding and prioritization
  • greenway operations and policy development
  • congestion and/or user conflict management
  • events planning
  • grant applications
  • outdoor amenities marketing
  • Go Outside Festival (GO Fest) attendance counts
  • benefits/cost analyses
  • transportation studies
  • public health research

Roanoke Valley Bike, Hike & Bus Map2014 Bike, Hike, Bus Map

The Roanoke Valley Bike, Hike, & Bus Map includes area bicycle accommodations (bicycle lanes, bike routes),  Valley Metro and Smartway bus routes, greenways, trails,  local parks, Carvins Cove, Mill Mountain, Explore Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Appalachian Trail, and other activity centers in the Roanoke Valley. Free copies of the map are available at the Regional Commission (313 Luck Avenue SW Roanoke VA 24016) or via the RIDE Solutions online request form.

Note: Additional Interactive and printable maps – including greenway, trail, and transit maps – are available on the Regional Commission’s Maps page.


 Roanoke River Blueway

The Regional Commission continues to support the Roanoke River Blueway with support from the localities of the City of Salem, City of Roanoke, Roanoke County, and the Town of Vinton. The Roanoke River Blueway Committee meets every other month and contains representatives from a variety or organizations, including:

  • City of Roanoke
  • City of Salem
  • Roanoke Countykayaklaunch-17
  • Town of Vinton
  • Montgomery County
  • Franklin County
  • Roanoke Mountain Adventures
  • Roanoke Outside
  • Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge
  • Back Country Sport & Ski
  • National Park Service
  • Upper Roanoke River Roundtable
  • Friends of the Rivers of Virginia
  • FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Pathfinders for Greenways
  • Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission
  • Clean Valley Council
  • Creek Freak Paddlers of Franklin County
  • Walkabout Outfitters
  • American Electric Power

Upper James Resource Conservation and Development Council

The Regional Commission participates in the work of the Upper James Resource Conservation and Development Council (UJRC&D). This body was created to initiate, develop and promote regional projects benefiting outdoor recreation, land conservation, water resources and environmental education in a sustainable way in the Upper James River watershed. The UJRC&D covers the counties of Alleghany, Bath, Botetourt, Craig, Highland, and Rockbridge, and the cities of Buena Vista, Covington, and Lexington. You can discover more about Resource and Development Councils here and visit the UJRC&D website here.